Sometimes I have the desire to interact with the people around me, but I can't think of anything to say or ask. In my head I'm googling for "engaging conversational topics", but the only thing that ends up coming out of my mouth is "Hi!". It's what my brain responds with when I'm Feeling Lucky.
I could be sitting quietly with Hank, each of us concentrating on our separate tasks (me, computing how to turn hours sitting on the couch into faster marathon times (runner's alchemy) and Hank planning the next 20 years of Daisy's school auction) and I'll suddenly blurt out "Hi!". It unnerved her for the first few months of our relationship, but she's fully acclimated now. It's just one of my delightful quirks.
With Daisy, my conversational Tourette's takes a different form. With her, when I want to engage, but have nothing to say, I'll stick out my tongue.
It never fails to impress me how charged up an eight year-old will get when you stick your tongue out at them. Daisy goes bonkers. She springs up, makes faces, screeches, and usually makes a beeline directly towards Hank to tattle on me. It's moments like those that remind me what an involved father I am.
So, the other day, when all three of us were in the car, stuck in stop and go traffic, and I felt that familiar urge to fill a conversational void, I turned to my wife and stuck out my tongue at her.
She raised an eyebrow at me, lifted her right buttock every so slightly, and farted.
In one fell swoop Hank had found a new way to relate to me, and taught Daisy a Jesus-like lesson in turning the other cheek. Very impressive.